Massive archive of old Doncaster photos to be put online

A photograph from the Luke Bagshaw collection -  a group of Doncaster children dressed as Pierrots and Pierettes, dating from the late 19th/early 20th century.

A photograph from the Luke Bagshaw collection - a group of Doncaster children dressed as Pierrots and Pierettes, dating from the late 19th/early 20th century.

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A massive treasure trove of photos of bygone Doncaster is to be put online for the first time.

Doncaster Council has received funding to make the work of important local photographer Luke Bagshaw available to the public.

The lensman worked from around 1894 to his death in 1944, with his studio continuing until the 1960s.

The Museum and the Local Studies Library together care for around 15,000 of his photographs, mostly of local people, whilst the Archives holds Bagshaw’s business archive.

The council’s heritage services team recently beat off stiff national competition to receive a £34,812 grant under the National Cataloguing Grants Programme, administered by The National Archives.

This money will pay for an archivist to catalogue the collection.

Approximately 400 studio portraits of First World War period soldiers and soldiers with their families survive in the collection.

There are also images of women munitions workers and railway workers, women tram drivers, soldiers practising bayonet drill, soldiers in barracks and also wives, children and fiancées of servicemen.

These will be prioritised for digitising and will in time be available to view at www.doncaster1914-18.org.uk as part of the Doncaster 1914-18 project. There are plans to put more images online in the near future.

Councillor Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “This collection tells the story of Doncaster from the Boer War to World War Two – a period of huge change for the borough. There are so many photos of local people and most of them have not been seen before. We are therefore looking forward to some wonderful surprises and stories to come out as a result of this project. This will no doubt be a great resource for people looking into their family history.”

A small exhibition of Luke Bagshaw’s work will be on show at Cusworth Hall Museum from 23 January to 3 April 2016.